The fundamental step of designing instruction is to identify what students should know or be able to do at the end of a course. Writing student-centered course objectives provides a strategic foundation for developing instructional activities as well as ways to assess student learning.
In their book, Understanding by Design (UbD), Wiggins and McTighe place as much emphasis on learning as teaching. Working backwards, instructors design courses by first determining what students need to learn and be able to do to demonstrate content mastery by the end of the course.
With the end in mind, instructors look at the course as a whole then break it into parts in order to make the whole achievable. Planning might look something like this:
Learning Outcomes → Course Objectives → Learning Modules/Topics of Study → Assessments → Assignments → Class Activities → Preparation for Class Activities → Class Instruction